Consumer journalism has expanded enormously in recent years,
dominated by the extraordinary growth and success of WHICH? magazine
and in the wake of the crusading "consumer's rights" movement
pioneered in the United States by journalist Ralph
(By the way, you can praise/blame Ralph for George W's election.
He stood as a left wing "consumer rights" candidate
in the 2000 US Presidential election and got about 2 percent
of the vote - all taken from Gore supporters - eg Californian
tree huggers) - which enough for Dubya to get in on a minority
The style is the same as for arts reviews:
(1) WHAT IS IT/ WHAT DOES IT DO?
(2) IS IT ANY GOOD
It works by comparing ALL the available products within a
consumer section (eg car insurance, university courses) and
MUST provide valuable information which, if followed, will
actually save readers money when making purchases.
Avoid the consumer magazine product reviews where, again,
somebody just says "I like this". It might work in
a (low value, no pay) freesheet, or as an adjunct to a fashion
magazine purchased because of the quality of pictures. But
it is no good in the trade press or in serious "consumer" journalism
- which is where all the quality and the work for journalists
is to be had.
The same approach can be applied to all areas of consumption
- travel, personal finance, housing, cars, fashion and clothes,
consumer electronics. There is a massive consumer press devoted
to computers. All of these titles are bought because they are
genuinely useful in saving money and avoiding making mistakes
on major purchases.
TV equivalent: Watchdog.
Radio: You and Yours
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